“Ten Books for Summer” has become an annual tradition. I read a lot and love to recommend books to others. So, why not share? Here are second five of my favorite books for summer of 2018. They are not always religious but they are interesting. With each book there is information provided by Amazon.com followed by, “Why I like this book.”
9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life: A Psychologist Learns from His Patients What Really Works and What Doesn’t by Dr. Henry Cloud. Many years of counseling have enabled Dr. Henry Cloud to observe people trying to work out the most important issues of life: relationships, career, fulfillment, meaning, pain, hurt, loss, despair, and addictions. If we sincerely want to “get life right” and quit repeating the same mistakes over and over again, 9 Things You Simply Must Do provides the practical guidance we need to live life to its fullest . . . every moment.
Why I like this book: What caught my attention were the chapter titles: Dig it Up, Pull the Tooth, Play the Movie, Do Something and more. At first, I was curious but then impressed with Dr. Cloud’s insight and with the way he used Scripture as a foundation for his teaching. Our church used this book as the basis for a sermon series. People who are successful in love and life tend to follow a pattern, a way of behaving and this pattern can serve as a guide.
The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World. Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize winner, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation. Tutu’s role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Each of us has a deep need to forgive and to be forgiven.
Why I like this book: “We have very little understanding of forgiveness and few rituals for forgiving in modern society.” What impressed me the most about this book was the person who wrote it. With all that Desmond Tutu endured in his lifetime, he can certainly teach others how to forgive. His fourfold path 1. Telling the Story 2. Naming the Hurt 3. Granting Forgiveness 4. Renewing or Releasing the Relationship is worth learning and practicing in our everyday life.
Made for a Miracle: From Your Ordinary to God’s Extraordinary by Mike Slaughter. At some time in our lives, most of us have prayed for or hoped for a miracle—an event that seems impossible but is brought about by God’s transcendent power. But when miracles occur, did you know that you have a role to play? If that’s true, what’s the catch? What do we have to do? What’s it going to cost us? Mike Slaughter examines the two components of every miracle: divine action and human responsibility. For a real miracle to take place, we must act with God, using whatever gifts, talents, and abilities we have and directing them toward God’s work.
Why I like this book: Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed: “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” Along with the miracles, there are costs to being a disciple of Christ and Mike Slaughter realistically emphasizes both: “We must not rationalize or spiritualize Jesus’ actual, physical demands to follow him. We do that by sacrificing our time, life gifts and financial resources for the least and the lost.” If you are looking to better understand your role as a disciple of Christ, “Made for a Miracle” is an excellent place to start.
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey. Raising White Kids is for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. For white people who are committed to equity and justice, living in a nation that remains racially unjust and deeply segregated creates unique conundrums. These conundrums begin early in life and impact the racial development of white children in powerful ways. What can we do within our homes, communities and schools? Should we teach our children to be “colorblind”? Or, should we teach them to notice race? What roles do we want to equip them to play in addressing racism when they encounter it? What strategies will help our children learn to function well in a diverse nation? How do we talk about race honestly, without making our children feel bad about being white? Most importantly, how do we do any of this in age-appropriate ways?
Why I like this book: Racism, unfortunately exists in all facets of society. Rosanne Barr’s tweet leading to cancelling her television series and events in Charlottesville, Virginia certainly illustrates the continuing problem. “Within a few months of being born, babies begin to observe, absorb and even respond to the racial dimensions of our society.” Raising White Kids isn’t attempting to teach colorblindness as much as helping us become more Race-Conscious which is based on noticing and naming race early and often in order to teach us to live out antiracist commitments, in other words to more highly value diversity.
52 Small Changes for the Mind: Improve Memory * Minimize Stress * Increase Productivity * Boost Happiness. Small changes work. Wellness expert Brett Blumenthal reveals how to hone in on the mind as the foundation of overall health and well-being. She presents one small, achievable change every week—from developing music appreciation to eating brain-boosting foods, practicing mono-tasking, incorporating play, and more. The accumulation of these lifestyle changes ultimately leads to improved memory, less stress, increased productivity, and sustained happiness. Backed by research from leading experts and full of helpful charts and worksheets, 52 Small Changes for the Mind provides a road map to a better life—and proves that the journey can be as rewarding as the destination.
Why I like this book: I love the headings: Show Your Pearly Whites, Be a Mono-Tasker, Forget the Joneses, Kick Indecision, Sip Green Tea, Go Alfresco and more. Each chapter contains an explanation, practical suggestions and extra details if you want to know more. Not every chapter will work but most will provide helpful tools to improve your emotional outlook and become more productive. This book can be a practical tool for many years.